Cannes Film Festival Award Winners 2008
by Alex Billington
May 25, 2008
Wrapping up our coverage of the Cannes Film Festival this year is the announcement of the big winners. This year's jury was lead by Sean Penn and also included actress Natalie Portman and director Alfonso Cuarón. Neither Steven Soderbergh's Che nor Clint Eastwood's Changeling managed to get any top nods, but each did win a minor award, with Eastwood taking home a special Prix de 61st Festival de Cannes and Che's lead actor Benicio Del Toro taking home the Prix D'interpretation Masculine. The winner of the Palme d'Or this year is a film titled The Class (photo above), a fictional feature shot in a documentary style about a Paris junior high school. Read on for the complete list of winners below.
Palme d'Or (Golden Palm):
Entre les Murs (The Class) directed by Laurent Cantet
An evocation of contemporary society as seen through a year's worth of events in a Paris junior high school.
Special 61st Anniversary Award:
Catherine Deneuve for Un conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale)
Follows a family who becomes increasingly contentious and dysfunctional until an ill relative brings them together over the holidays.
Clint Eastwood for Changeling
A mother prays for the return of her kidnapped son. When her prayers are answered, however, she begins to suspect the boy who comes back is not her child.
Gomorra directed by Matteo Garrone
An inside look at Italy's modern-day crime families. Based on a book by Roberto Saviano.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Three Monkeys
A family is dislocated when small failings blow up into extravagant lies. They battle against the odds to stay together by covering up the truth, but it only leads to additional hardship.
Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne for Le Silence de Lorna
A resolutely naturalistic portrait of a young Albanian woman having second thoughts about a cold-blooded immigration scam.
Il Divo directed by Paolo Sorrentino
The story of Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who has been elected to Parliament seven times since is was established in 1946.
Camera d'Or (First-Time Filmmakers):
Hunger directed by Steve McQueen
The last six weeks of the life of the Irish republican hunger striker Bobby Sands.
Best Leading Actor:
Benicio Del Toro in Steven Soderbergh's Che
A biopic about the life of Argentine revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara.
Best Leading Actress:
Sandra Corveloni in Walter Salles' and Daniela Thomas' Linha de Passe
A story about four brothers from a poor family who need to fight to follow their dreams.
Not the most exciting year as far as I can tell, but definitely a good line-up to keep your eye on. Cannes' selection is usually one of the best when it comes to international films, but not always the best when it comes to North American features. For those of you who enjoy all the independent and film festival coverage, stay tuned after the summer when the festival season picks up again for our coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival.